It's no secret that Kevin Gates says and does whatever he wants on a regular basis. That's what makes him Kevin Gates, and it is a large reason why he has such a loyal and diehard fanbase right now: The man knows no filter.
This quality has landed Gates in a lot of controversy in the last year, and in the course of our face-to-face interview, he was willing to answer to all of it: kicking the girl in Florida, the sexual relationship with his cousin, the dog video on Instagram. Stories like these are why Gates is often labeled or brought up as anything but a rapper by people, but despite all of the distractions outside of his music, Gates is forever focused on his craft.
His new album, Islah, is coming in December and is being billed as his debut album, though if you follow Gates at all, you'll know that he's put out album-quality mixtapes for years now. His journey here has been a strange one, though he doesn't care what people think about the steps he's taken so far. As I learned first hand, the one thing you can't take away from Gates is his realness, and that's exactly how he wants it.
You’re very open about everything, in everything you do.
I try to be, bro.
Do you ever regret that at all? Like, anything?
No. I don’t care, money isn’t happiness. I wanna be happy, and I don’t care what anybody thinks about me, ’cause I have a big dick. I got a big dick, so I don’t care if somebody with a little dick has an opinion about me, ’cause somebody with a big dick is gonna be minding their business and not worried about me. But they have nothing going for themselves so they have to worry bout me.
Do you think being so open in your music lets you express yourself more with the stuff that happens outside of the music?
Yeah. No. I don’t know. I’m like this at the mic or behind the mic. There are certain things that I won’t speak about. I play aloof and go left when somebody asks me a question. I dummy up. Now, I used to try not to be offensive. Now I don’t care if I am offensive.
When did that switch?
When I saw that no matter what you do, the world is gonna find a reason to hate you. So fuck ’em. I got a big dick.
Was that after you blew up or?
No, it was right when my grandmother passed. It’s like, no matter what you do, people will find a reason to hate you. So the people that love you, they’ll love you for you. So I was like, “I’m gonna be me to the hundredth power.” And I made the conscious decision. I’mma be me, and I’mma accept what comes with it. You don’t like it, don’t talk to me. Don’t be around me.
Do you think that decision has helped you get to this point in your career?
Yeah, I blew up! And I thought people would hate it, but more people are like, “Man, we love you Kevin.” Well, cool. Fuck it. I got a big dick.
You just released a new single yesterday, but before that, you had “The Truth” song, and in it, you talk about the incident in Florida with the girl…
—yeah. I’ll say this: Two wrongs don’t make a right. Life is about conduct and how we conduct ourselves. But two wrongs never make a right. But I’ll say this, I’ll use Nicki Minaj again ’cause people tell me that women love her and people love her: If I was to go front row while she was on stage performing and stick my finger in her pussy, and she kicked me in the mouth and knocked one of my gold teeth out, I would be wrong. I would be wrong for that, and that’s all I’ll say. To touch someone’s genitals without their consent is a sexual battery. To touch someone without their consent is a simple battery. And two wrongs don’t make a right.
What made you wanna put out “The Truth,” just to kind of get it out?
No, because that’s how I was feeling. So I wanted people to know. I’m not a bad person, I don’t go around striking people for no reason. But the judge is gonna see my footage.
You have footage from your team?
Yeah. From everything that happened. Not just the edit. You know you gotta show the truth and nothing but the truth.
You called it a crime of passion the other day.
Do you still feel like it was?
If you was to spit in my face and I headbutted you in your nose, that would be a crime of passion, right? My grandmother taught me if somebody touch you, make sure they don’t touch you again. That’s what my grandmother taught me. When I was having fights in school, my grandmother came and hit the teacher, and told the teacher, “Now, you didn’t like that, did you?” The teacher was like, “No!” She said, “Imagine how he feel.”
Why were your teachers fighting with you?
No, me and a student.
Why were you fighting with students?
It don’t matter, you know what I’m sayin’? I always got picked on.
Why’d you get picked on?
’Cause I got golden skin. My skin is 24 karat gold when a sun hit it.
You know what I’m sayin’? I look different than everybody else. My skin made out of gold so people would be like, “Let’s go and start some shit with him.” And then once they see, “Oh, damn, he not even like that.” I don’t really talk to people. I’m an introvert somewhat. There could be a room full of people, I’ll go stand in the corner.
Yeah, you said you don’t go out to clubs or anything?
For what? I know what’s gonna happen in the club.
A bitch gon’ lie to me. I’m gon’ lie to a bitch. A bitch ass nigga gon’ lie to me, and I’m gon’ lie to him. Everybody’s pretending in the club. They pretending like they like each other, and they pop bottles, and they pretend to be something that they’re not.
You've had a longtime girlfriend, right?
A longtime girlfriend? No, I never had a longtime girlfriend.
From high school?
No, I’ve never had a longtime girlfriend. I have a best friend. We’ve been friends for 14 years. I tell her about everything, and she’s my business partner. Yeah, she’s my business partner and my life partner. I don’t do girlfriends. That’s a fling.
How often do you have flings?
A fling? I don’t really have flings. The sex is never as incredible as what you can imagine. You know what I’m saying? Like, there’s always gonna be a letdown. The bitch’s feet might be dirty, her nails might be dirty. It’s gonna be something about the bitch that I’m just not gonna like. And I’ll be like, “I could’ve jacked off doin’ all this with you. I coulda knocked your ass off and not even been around you!”
Do you think you’re behind the ass eating revival of the past year?
No! ’Cause people been doing that—pornos and everything. It’s just that when I said it, “Oh my God, Kevin Gates is eating.” And then, I didn’t go out and advocate that. You never heard me just say I eat booty or nothing like that. You probably heard me saying it on Instagram or something, fucking off, playing around, but you know, I never went around with a T-shirt on saying that I eat ass.
Do you wanna be responsible for that revival?
I don’t care if I am or not, because that’s just something I do. If a woman is clean and she’s beautiful, then I do that.
You talked about Instagram and how you’re fucking around sometimes. What about the dog Instagram that you put up where you joked about kicking a woman out of your house?
I never kicked a woman out of my house for that.
Yeah, I’m saying, you say you joke around on Instagram, but people...
—I wasn’t joking, I was telling the truth, but I never kicked a woman out the house. She was right there when I did it.
People took that serious though that you actually meant...
—because they’re stupid. They don’t have a life. A dog got a red, ugly, hot dog weiner-looking penis. Why would I be sexually aroused by a little bitty penis going in a woman, when I got a big dick? That wouldn’t even turn me on, you know what I’m sayin’? I wouldn’t let a bitch suck my dog’s dick if she tried, ’cause that’s my family member. Bitch, I don’t know where your mouth’s been. She askin’ me why I kiss my dog in the morning. Ain’t no dick been in my dog’s mouth. That’s what I told her, and it got taken out of context when “I’m not bout to sleep in bed with you with the dog.” Well, the dog sleep in the bed with me all the time! He sleep at the foot at the bed or up on my chest, wherever he sleeps. That’s my family member. You can say what you want about my dog, but he’s loyal. My dog cost $90,000.
What kind of dog is it?
It’s a micro exotic bully. I wouldn’t give a damn if a bitch—I wouldn’t let a bitch suck my dog’s dick. You know how expensive? His nut cost 10 grand. People pay me 10 grand just to mail them the semen from my dog. ’Cause I got the most exotic dog in the game. God blessed me with it.
Did you think that it was gonna blow up like it did? Like, when you put it up at first?
I don’t care if it blew up or not because I don’t pay attention to social media! You tellin’ me it blew up. I’m not no Internet person. I just was finished reading Meditations by Marcus Aurelius. I don’t care about no god damn Internet. I say what I say on the Internet, I might go through the comments and play with people in my comments, then get off the Internet and go do something else. I don’t give a fuck about shit like that. I don’t watch videos or nothing.
I’m not no Internet person. I just was finished reading Meditations by Marcus Aurelius. I don’t care about no god damn Internet.
Is that why you didn’t think to respond to it?
’Cause people just ran with it, you know?
Respond to it for what? I don’t care what a person thinks about me. Those are people with little penises. I have a big dick. I don’t have a penis. I don’t care about those people.
You say you bring your kids to every show you do.
Why do you want to do that?
Because I want them to be at work with their daddy and see what their daddy do. This is what daddy do so you all can eat. This is what daddy does to provide you all with what you need to survive. They get to see how I treat people in public and things of that nature.
Do they come to the studio with you too?
Sometimes. I got a studio at one of my houses. Well, all of my houses got studios.
What’s your recording process like?
I don’t know, I just turn on a beat I like and go in there and write, or just go in there and rap. Sometimes I have the songs already written down. When I’m on the road I write it down to a beat, then get in there and do my thing. Sometimes I have songs written in my head, melodies, and I don’t have the right beat, but once I find the perfect beat, there you go.
The new album, it’s called your debut album, but you’ve had mixtapes that have been basically albums before.
I’ve had mixtapes that have been better than albums I’ve heard from other artists. I take my time, I put my heart into it. It ain’t no just “do it right quick and get it out.” No, it’s not that process with me. I take my time with my music.
What are you trying to do differently with this upcoming one than anything in the past?
I feel like I could’ve done better on this album also, but I feel that with every album that I drop. It coulda been better. But it’s gonna be the truth.
What could’ve been better about it?
I know that every song I make, I could’ve made better songs. Now, “Roaming Around,” that was classic. It doesn’t get any better than that. “Roaming Around” was—every now and then you find the one of those ones that’s classic. “Satellites” was classic. “Roaming Around” was better than “Satellites” to me.
Man, “Roaming Around” is way better than “Satellites,” way better. Not just “Roaming Around,” but “Perfect Imperfections” is better than “Satellites” to me. Man, I cried making that song.
Do you ever get sick of performing some hits like “Satellites”?
Yeah, you do, you get sick of performing. But lately I’ve been loving it.
I’ve been loving it because it’s been what it’s supposed to be. I look at it from a different perspective. These people don’t have to love me, and I love performing even more now because I’m performing at a time when people said, “Ban him! Don’t let him perform in your city! He has a big dick!” That’s really what they wanted to say. “Don’t let him perform in your city! Ban him.” But I have a cult-like following because I exemplify what it is to be a human being. I’m not afraid to make mistakes. I’m not perfect. I put my flaws on front street. So the world accepted my flaws, so I don’t have any flaws. I’m really ’bout to stop talking.
I have a cult-like following because I exemplify what it is to be a human being. I’m not afraid to make mistakes.
You don’t want to do interviews anymore?
I’m about to stop talking in a minute. Like, probably. After I drop Islah, I’ma stop talking, I’ma shut the fuck up. When a person interviews me, I’mma shake my head no or yes.
How long do you want rap for?
It’s about to evolve into something else, because I’m sick of rap.
Sick of the game or making music?
Just the game. I love making music though. I’m gonna keep making music and probably evolve into singing and things of that nature.
What are you going to sing about?
I’ll be a singer like Green Day or Swedish House Mafia.
Like a rock singer.
Yeah, soft rock though. Like Panic at the Disco.
What are some of your favorite rock bands?
Some of the names I just said! Red Hot Chili Peppers, you know. I’ll do music like that. I got songs like that already, I just haven’t released them for fear of maybe it’s not time. But fuck that, I’mma let ’em fly. I got a song called “Hurtful,” and it’s a rock ’n’ roll song.
Are you going to drop that with the album?
It’s on the album. My music ain’t rap. It’s something else. That guy raps, Kevin Gates does something else. It is evolved past rap. I make great music. Kevin Gates does Kevin Gates, ’cause Kevin Gates is a feeling.
The thing with your cousin.
What about it?
Did you ever regret bringing that up?
No, that was the most beautiful thing that I ever did in my life. I never regret it. I wish I could go back in time and do it again.
Why do you say it’s the most beautiful thing in your life?
Because she taught me so much about myself because we are so much alike. It’s a beautiful person. My heart continues to her. Even though we’re not together, I’ll always love her.
You guys still close?
Yeah, still close.
How many kids do you have?
Two from my partner. I have other children. Lot of children.
When your kids get older, do you ever fear that maybe people are going to bring up stuff about you that maybe you’re comfortable with talking about but they aren't?
I don’t care.
If maybe they have to deal with stuff?
I don’t care. My son’s life is gonna be hard. When you watch movies about kings and princes and things of that nature...the only thing I’m gonna give my son the freedom and the opportunity to do is marry who he is in love with. Other than that, no. You are a god, you will be tested tremendously. At 2 years old you will be in the boxing ring, at 3 you will be in the boxing ring, playing football, you will be doing everything. You have to be challenged, you have to be tested all the time. Constantly tested. You’re gonna be tested more than other children will be because I command you to be great.
Do you think that’s somewhat because your stature and your success?
No. My grandfather was hard on me, and I had no choice but to be successful because he was hard on me. It didn’t seem fair at the time, but now anything that comes my way, it’s nothing. I don’t break down, I don’t freak out. I adapt, I adjust, and I capitalize. But without panicking, without getting in my feelings. And I stand behind whatever I do. I won’t apologize for being me. No disrespect, but other artists, they do shit and “I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have did it.” If you were sorry, you wouldn’t have did it. I pray you’ll forgive me, but if I was sorry, I wouldn’t have did it.